Commentary- No POTUS at John McCain’s homegoing: He wasn’t invited

Commentary- No POTUS at John McCain’s homegoing: He wasn’t invited
September 06
02:00 2018

We honor homegoings as they reflect the end of life. They are personable and dignified. When we are invited to a funeral, it means that the family has good feelings about us. That you are welcomed, and the family is pleased to see you there. It confirms your humanity and decency in the eyes of the people that extended the invitation.

I have been invited to my share of funerals as they are timeless ceremonies. They exude grace and give you a personal perspective. They bring tears to your eyes and memories flood your mind. Usually, you will see people there that you haven’t seen, sometimes in years.

Lately, I have been invited to more funerals than weddings. Of course, at homegoings, my friends and I talk about what happened back in the day. It is amazing to me how vivid our memories are about events that occurred over a half century ago. How is it that I can remember what happened years ago, but I can’t recall what happened last week? I guess that is just the way Father Time operates.

We will take some pictures and exchange phone numbers. We lament the fact that we haven’t stayed in touch and vow to do better.

As an older American, I have observed a number of politicians passing away and watching their services on television. One that readily comes to mind is the funeral of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States of America in 1963. Maybe I remember it so well because it was on television for most of the day. What I find upon reflection now is how quickly the Kennedy funeral happened. President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas Texas and he was funeralized on Nov. 25, 1963.

On Saturday, Aug. 25, an American war hero, Sen. John McCain, passed away at his home in Arizona. Senator McCain ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008. John McCain was called a maverick by his colleagues in the Senate. The reason for the maverick moniker was that the Republicans in the senate could not always count on his vote.

During the last presidential campaign, the eventual Republican nominee and now president railed against the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. In his last senate appearance, John McCain voted to keep Obamacare. It is my opinion that he saw the good that it was doing for the citizens of this country.

The current president and Senator McCain have been at odds from the very beginning. The country acknowledged him as a war hero. McCain’s military service in the Navy has been a source of disdain for the current administration. Jealousy and envy seem to run rampant at that White House.

Senator McCain believed more in our country than he did in a political party. One of his dear friends, former Vice President Joe Biden, gave one of the tributes at the Phoenix Arizona Memorial. Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals also gave a tribute there.

The 45th president was not invited to any of the services for Senator McCain. Just think, the leader of the free world was told to stay at home! Senator McCain was laid to rest at the U.S. Naval Academy on Sept. 1. Barack Obama and George W. Bush gave the eulogies.

John McCain was a maverick to the end.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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